Los Angeles is sinking. Not really, but it might as well with all of the body mass it is holding. It has the second largest population in the United States. From someone who spent their first six years of life in LA and has since moved back for college, let me give you some real perspective on the “City of Angels.”

Movies portray LA as a land of shiny cars, swaying palm trees, and endless sun. I am writing this in the gloom of a rainstorm so we already know that last one isn’t true. I am going to give you my qualms with LA. Then, I will go into why, despite all that, I love being here.


LA is not a walking city. You can’t walk from USC to all of the fun places, but if you chose to drive you would get stuck in traffic. There really is no grand solution to this issue besides city action to improve public transportation. It is also not always that pretty. There is trash lining the freeways, boarded up buildings, and many potholes. Of course there are very pretty areas of the city but you have to take the good with the bad. This brings me to my next issue: not knowing where to go. The neighborhoods and cultures change from one street to the next so it is hard to grasp where to go for food, exploring, or site seeing. And no, the Hollywood sign is not all it is cracked up to be. To really get familiar with the restaurants and locations, you have to use trial and error instead of Yelp.


With all the issues I have, there are so many things I love. Let’s start with food. You can get food from any background. There is Chinatown, Koreatown, street tacos, Mediterranean, an endless sea of Italian restaurants. Of course there are food markets too like Grand Central Market, The Farmers Market at the Grove, and Smorgasburg. You truly cannot get bored with the food. And even though it is raining currently, you can usually count on the sun. Not having to deal with snow and months of gloom is very helpful to mental and social health. Especially with the location of nearby beaches (stay away from Santa Monica if you want peace). Believe it or not, there are nature trails you can take too!

Like I said, use trial and error to figure out what works. You won’t know if LA is the city for you until you try it out but until then, I hope I cleared some things up.

Natalie Le

Natalie Le

MAJOR: Civil Engineering (Building Science) YEAR: Class of 2023 HOMETOWN: San Diego, California PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @nataliexlinh On campus I am involved in various Civil clubs like Construction Management, Earth Engineering Research, and Society of Civil Engineers. Outside of engineering I work a part time job in the Office of Admissions.